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Suppose Math and Logic were all there is

  1. Jun 3, 2003 #1
    Suppose Alexander were right and the article he linked us to turned out to be correct. Everything in the universe were because of math and logic, geometric relationships.
    We all know that math is abstract and not material nor tangable. It can have no energy, mass, matter, dimention or time. The article said that math is outside of space and time remember. Yet math and logic is the cause of it all.
    Before I get to my main point I want to point out one bit of illogic in the article, it is relavent to my point. The writer said that QM needed an observer to collapse the probabilty waves into reality; but, that an outside observer wasn't necessary as all of our combined observations from inside would collapse the waves and form the real universe that we observed. Okay, I can accept that possibility; but, what about the first few billion years of the universe's wave that there were no internal observers possible, before heavy elements had formed in the centers of the stars and were blown out by super novas and had a chance to come together and form planets and life to observe and collapse the waves. Makes one wonder doesn't it. Did man create the stars when he first looked up at the sky and observed them? We could carry that all the way to now.
    Now back to my main point. We all also know that math and logic are a product of the mind, pure mental abstracts. So, if math and logic made, caused, or brought about the entire universe and everything in it, whose or what's mind made that math and logic and by the previous paragraphs logic who was the external observer necessary to collapse all the propability waves of the forming universe?

    Has science, physics, QM and GR finally found and proved the evidence that there is an external MIND that thought up the math and logic that brought about the universe and everything in it. Is that same mind the external OBSERVER that allowed the universe to form and produce life. Will we soon read in the headlines of all the papers; "SCINECE PROVES THE EXISTANCE OF GOD, THE CREATOR."

    Comment, thought and ideas cordually invited.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2003 #2


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    Geometric relations are all you need to have structure, and possibly mass, energy, etc. I wouldn't say space and time are abstract concepts, especially since we depend on them to perceive the physical world. I don't know if that's actually all there is to the real universe, but that is certainly the simplest solution.

    And before getting upset about QM, you just need to realize the word "observer" is not meant to be taken literally. It doesn't necessarily mean conscious being, as a lifeless rock is just as good an observer as a human is. So anything capable of interacting with a particle is able to collapse the wave function.
  4. Jun 3, 2003 #3
    You don't even need geometry Eh, all you need are principles of symmetry or proportion which need not be geometric.

    Religion and spirituality worship God, that is what distinguishes the concept of God from say dying of old age. Sure, we all die and death can be seen as unavoidable and all powerful in that sense, but we don't worship death. Likewise, we don't worship the laws of physics despite their all powerful, imminent, pervasive, and unavoidable nature.

    Hence, no matter how extreme the evidence the only way science can ever experience and acknowledge spirituality is emotionally. Since this of course contradicts the goal of scientific objectivity, it is an oxymoron.
  5. Jun 3, 2003 #4


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    But we live in a world that is clearly geometric, and much of physics would have no meaning without it. The big question is whether or not geometric relations of spacetime are fundemental in nature, or if even geometry owes it's existence to something more basic. I would argue that geometry is the simplest explanation we currently have.
  6. Jun 3, 2003 #5
    Geometry or mathematics as Alex likes to insist. Both of these infer an underlying order or, again, symmetry or proportion. A symmetry or porportion of what exactly is another question altogether. In that regard, geometry is not necessarilly the simplest answer, just one of the more humanly conceivable, one of the more easily pursued avenues of exploration.

    The simplest explanation is, of course, that there is no explanation.
  7. Jun 3, 2003 #6


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    That would qualify it as simplicity. Anything the human mind can easily comprehend is by definition a simpler explanation than something not so well known by experience.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2003
  8. Jun 3, 2003 #7


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    Maybe, so what ?
    (As for the God part, I don't really get it... )
  9. Jun 4, 2003 #8
    Re: Re: Suppose Math and Logic were all there is

    Your right of course in saying; "So what?"
    I was mearly speculating on "What if it were true."

    If the universe is nothing more than geometric relationships or as wuli says symmetry or porportion in whose or what's mind do these mathimatical geometries, symmetries or porportions exist as math is pure abstract thought and has no substance or reality outside of the mind.
    As far as Eh's rock being the Observer, that is an impossiblity because there were no rocks in the beginng unless this does away with the Big Band too.
    As always in such discussions we go back to First Cause or specifically in this discussion First Mind - God.
    Only a spiritual being of immense mental power and capacity could exist outside of space time and hold the math and logic in his mind to create or cause to exist - the universe.

    It's the age old argment did God always exist or did the Math/universe always exist? The answer of course in unanswerable and unproveable reguardless of whether you are a scientist or an religionist.
  10. Jun 4, 2003 #9


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    could you give me a link to the article?

  11. Jun 4, 2003 #10


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    The rock was just an example to show anything will do.
  12. Jun 4, 2003 #11

    If you go to Alexander's first post in his thread
    - Hurdles of laymann misunderstanding of mathematics -
    you will find the hyper link to the article. I don't know why but went I tried to place it here I continually got an error page at Scientific America's site.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2003
  13. Jun 4, 2003 #12
    Eh, I know it was just an example but would anything do a single electron or would it take a proton or an hydrogen atom. Or would it take only energy as in a photon. If nothing existed but quantum probabily waves then what could exist to colapse the wave into anything? I don't know. I only speculate that it may be The Mind of God.
  14. Jun 4, 2003 #13
    Royce, you are missing the essential point. To say everything is mathematics, geometry, symmetry, or proportion is an oxymoron. It is a self-referential and self-contradictory paradox. A mathematics of what? A geometry of what? A symmetry or proportion of what? Each of these questions leads inexorably back to the paradox of existence which no one has managed to resolve rationally since prehistoric times.
  15. Jun 4, 2003 #14
    Royce, bad speculation, but very interesting point - I'd also like to know what exactly is meant by observer that collapses a wavefunction in QM? Is it some most fundamental particle in the core of anything?
  16. Jun 4, 2003 #15


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    Careful now. Self referential does not equal contradictory. Something fundemental such as spacetime cannot be made of something else by definition, so the question of "geometry of what" would be nonsensical. Is that self referential? Sure it is! Anything fundemental by definition, will necessarily be so. But is it contradictory? Not unless you can actually show how the idea is contradictory. And that's the crux of it. I don't know why you feel anything self referential like geometry is a paradox, especially given that it does not fit the definition of the word.

    If you are talking about attempts to define something fundemental like geometry, they would be circular. That is because something fundemental cannot be broken apart into any other definitions. So we can only understand the concept of something fundemental on the basis of our direct experience with the world. For example, how could we possibly define geometry to someone who was blind their entire life? They could learn the math about lines and planes, but would they have any concept of what a surface really is? I would argue no. We cannot explain geometry to someone without prior experience of it, and I believe that is because it is fundemental.

    So I would agree that any attempts to actually define it would be paradoxical. But that doesn't mean a fundemental manifold itself is a contradictory entity or paradox.
  17. Jun 4, 2003 #16


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    In the early universe, there were countless particles which are associated with the wave functions. Any electron that interacts with another wavefunction can collapse it. It sounds circular, but there is more to it than that, and the cirular aspect comes without the need for consciouss beings.
  18. Jun 4, 2003 #17


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    Hmm.. I am not sure but what I think Alex means is that these rules define existence. Ie. to say the being can "exist outside of space time and maths" is in itself an oxymoron. The only possibility is that the rules and maths self generate the universe - the random creation of causality itself is the first cause, and without causality you cannot identify a discrete first cause.
  19. Jun 4, 2003 #18
    I am being very careful. These are self-referential, but they are also self-contradictory. Mathematics, geometry, symmetry and proportion all require rules of organization in order to have any meaning whatsoever. Thus, by making them self-referential you defy their intrinsic nature altogether and insist they ultimately do not obey rules, but somehow just blurr into an indescribable continuum.
  20. Jun 5, 2003 #19
    FZ+, I know I'm cheating a little bit with Alex's beliefs. If I understand him correctly, he believes that math exists in and of itself and is the First Cause of the universe. I'm saying that Math cannot exist in and of itself as it is abstract thought and must originate and reside in a Mind.
    The spiritual plane, if such a thing exists is outside physical spacetime by definition (or at least by concept). Thus the Mind must be spiritual which is to some the definition or concept of God.

    Wuli, as you know I agree almost completely with you and your philosophy. This is pure speculation. A thought experiment if you will.

    Eh, unless I missed it you still haven't told us what the original observer or interactor was that collapsed the first wave if all that existed were prpbability waves. This is again simply a First Cause question put in QM terms. I don't think that there is an answer.

    (Don't know whats wrong with me today. I seem to be unable to make a definite or absolute statement. Very unlike me.[?] )
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2003
  21. Jun 5, 2003 #20


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    I don't know what you're trying to say here. I don't see anything at all self contradictory about geometry, so you'll have to give some examples.

    Take a simple volume of space, as a start. Let's assume we're talking about something fundemental here, so that this space is not made up of anything else. What is self contradictory about this?
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